Paper Posse Book Blog
I wanted to give an honest review of Knees by Vanita Oelschlager from the perspective of myself, and the two little ones in my household.
Review #1: Momma (age undisclosed)
I loved the concept of this book, seeing the world through the perspective of a boy with dyslexia. It's a hard concept to convey to kids who don't understand how people can "see" things different from how they perceive them. So the first half of the book was really awesome. The author then goes into a concept of "finding something that you are good at. An equally good thing to teach to young children but I think I might have missed the transition somewhere. The rhyme and rhythm kept things interesting throughout the book and overall I enjoyed the story and the interesting approach to the problem.
Review #2: Jackson (age 8)
I liked this book about the boy who sees things backward. At the end he felt good that he could play basketball and that was good. I felt bad that he could not see the right letters, sometimes I feel that way on my spelling test. I want my mom to put this book on my kindle not just hers.
Review #3: Joseph (age 3)
Sat through about half of it and then needed a 30 second dance break. Yeah not the target age range for "Knees"
Altogether a good little kids book. Probably for an age range of 7-10.
Bookmark Reviews for Richmond Parents Monthly
Michelle D. Clark
School-age children sometimes struggle with learning differences. Offering encouragement to dyslexic children is Vanita Oelschlager’s book, “Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy With Dyslexia” (VanitaBooks, 2012).
The main character Louis finds school frustrating, explaining that, “things get mixed up between my eyes and my brain.” Sometimes he feels bad. With patient teachers, loving parents and a few good friends, Louis perseveres. His dad tells Louis, “We’re all good at something. You just have to find it.”
“Knees” clearly explains what dyslexia is like for a fourth-grader. The simple text is written in rhyming couplets that keep the story flowing. Energetic pen and ink illustrations by Joe Rossi are a friendly invitation to read this book over and again, and perhaps even color the pages.
This is a nice book to offer some comfort and understanding to a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia. Informative and entertaining, it is a great choice as a read-aloud for teachers who want to help other students better understand the challenges faced by a fellow classmate.
Vanita Oelschlager loves what she does and that is obvious when you read her children's books. This book goes beyond being simply entertaining and talks about an important subject in a way that a child can easily grasp.
The illustrations are simple and black and white, and my kids found the book to be quite charming. The little boy struggles in school, but learns that many others who have struggled with the same disorder have gone on to be quite famous. His parents are very supportive and continually reinforce that he will be good at something, which by the end, he is.
I liked this book mostly because I thought the author did a good job of highlighting something that may not be talked about with younger children enough and doing so in a way that made it fun for a young audience.
Told in simple verse, a story about dyslexia, finding your strengths, and perseverance. Counselors would benefit from having a copy of Knees in their bag of tricks.
My one complaint was not the black and white illustrations, but the fact that since it was illustrated in this way, the mother with the "Leave It To Beaver" apron ensemble struck me as old-fashioned.
Kayla's Reads and Reviews
I have read a couple of Vanita Oelschlager's children’s books before. She always writes though provoking children’s books. Her books usually teach that just because someone is a little different than you doesn’t mean that you won’t have a something in common. In fact, you might have a lot in common and become good friends. Knees is no exception to that rule.
Knees is about a boy named Louis who has dyslexia. The book helps children understand what dyslexia is. It also teaches that a lot of famous people have had dyslexia and have still been successful in life. The most important lesson that the book teaches is just because you have difficulty doing one thing doesn’t mean you won’t excel at something else. Louis has difficulty reading but he is amazing at basketball.
I really like that the print version of the book is printed on special paper so the children with dyslexia can have an easier time reading it. The illustrations were hard to see on my Kindle. However, I think that may have been a compatibility issue with my Kindle and the file I received for review. I would be ecstatic if Vanita Oelschlager continued to write more children's books.
I give Knees: 5/5.
This book uses simple letter style and design to show the challenges a person with dyslexia experiences. The circumstances are presented as told by a kid. He let us know about his daily life is impacted by this. The pages doesn't look busy or distracting, so kids don't feel overwhelmed.
Art is drawn in pencil and uses light colored paper as a visual aid for kids. The character, Louis The Third reminds me of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. I like how he shares with the reader about his life. He doesn't see dyslexia as an obstacle, but as a way to push harder and improve himself.
The only thing I can see as an opportunity for improvement is the story's title. I know it has meaning in the story, but I don't find it that appealing.
Recommend this book for educators and parents as a learning tool. Children from Pre- K can enjoy this learning experience.
A Perfect Chaos
I read Knees-a mixed-up world of a boy with dyslexia by Vanita Oelschlager, in exchange for review from Netgalley.com. The book was published by VanitaBooks, LLC. The graphics in the book were wonderful – simple black and white images. Each page also rhymed. The book told the story of a boy living with dyslexia. He confused his letters. Having dyslexia did not stop him from trying new things. The book captured my kids’ attention and was a quick read. I chose this book because the child had a mental disorder, just like my kids. I enjoyed reading this book to them.
This book is a must for every parent of a dyslexic child and should be on the shelf of all teachers and school libraries. Knees is unique because it tackles the struggles of dyslexia from the view point of the child. I also like how the author spends the later part of the book dealing with the child’s search for something he is good at. The approach the author uses in this book makes it very apropos for children who have friends who are dyslexic or for teachers helping the whole class to better understand what Dyslexia is and especially the difficulties that some students may face in their schoolwork. The kids will love the illustrations in their hand-drawn cartoon style!
Picture Book Depot
April 30, 2012
For the first time in a long time, I read a book that is nearly perfect. And that book is called Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy With Dyslexia, by Vanita Oelschlager.
The author has written a wonderful story about eight-year ols Louis, a boy with dyslexia, a learning disability. Louis (whose nickname is Knees) is aware of his problem and gives excellent age-appropriate descriptions of the ailment and how it affects him at home and at school.
This is a well-written book with great illustrations. I enjoyed seeing Louis take the advice of his father and work toward finding something he's good at doing, while actually raising his self esteem.
The plot/goal of this book is right on cue for children grappling with this problem. They will see themselves in Louis, and see ways to overcome their disability.
The strength of this book is the dialogue, which rhymes, by the way. The weakness I see is the limited population of readers, although children with other disabilities might benefit from reading and learning about others in the world who struggle to get through each day. The main reason to buy this book, of course, is to get help for a child with dyslexia. It would also be good for classrooms, day care situations, and schools for children with special problems. In fact, the writer is a former teacher, and could see the great need for this type of information in a classroom setting.
The Akron Beacon Journal
March 18, 2012
The publishers of Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia have taken special care to make Vanita Oelschlager’s book readable. According to a note in the back, a special typeface called Lexia Readable was used, and the matte paper is extra-heavy to prevent words from the previous page from showing through.
In rhyming couplets, a fourth-grader named Louis explains that “Words come out backwards/And I don’t know why.” He is glad for his special teacher, who tells the class about others who have overcome dyslexia, like Albert Einstein and Walt Disney.
The inclusion of Magic Johnson is important, because, as Louis’s dad says: “We’re all good at something. You just have to find it.” Louis tries a few things that don’t work out, but after a summer growth spurt, he finds he’s quite the basketball player. His prowess on the court gives Louis the confidence to try harder at school and the determination to live successfully with dyslexia.
Knees (128 pages, softcover) costs $9.95 and is recommended for readers ages 6 to 10. All proceeds will benefit the Lawrence School with campuses in Sagamore Hills and Broadview Heights; it serves students like Louis. The coloring-book-style illustrations are by Youngstown native Joe Rossi.
Second Bookshelf on the Right
Most people already have a vague idea about dyslexia, but for children who have it, it's something that can be very frustrating for them.
Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy With Dyslexia is told from the point-of-view of Louis the Third, a young, dyslexic 4th grader. Through rhymes, Louie brings up the symptoms of dyslexia
and examples of dyslexic people, such as Einstein, in a language that is easy for young kids to understand.
It has a very encouraging message for kids, dyslexic or not, so it's worth a read for any young child.